Michał Lubina, ed., Russia and China: A Political Marriage of Convenience – Stable and Successful
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Michał Lubina’s book makes a good first impression by characterizing China-Russia relations as “pragmatic” but “stable,” and by suggesting that an imperfect “marriage of convenience” between states can, in fact, be “stable and successful” as long as there are shared strategic interests. Lubina also should be praised for trying to engage multiple original Chinese and Russian-language sources, which is necessary for a nuanced and empirically accurate account of China-Russia relations, especially given that many existing English-language studies on the subject have oddly been out of step with the analyses by Chinese and Russian experts.
Unfortunately, Lubina’s book also suffers from serious flaws, such as unsubstantiated arguments, theoretical misinterpretations, ethnoculturally determinist statements, as well as mistakes and typos that far outweigh the aforementioned strengths and together make for poor scholarship.
Lubina’s main argument is what he calls a “return to the past” – simply...